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Schlitz Gusto (Classic 1960's Formula) - JOS. Schlitz Brewing Co. (Pabst)

Not Rated.
Schlitz Gusto (Classic 1960's Formula)Schlitz Gusto (Classic 1960's Formula)

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449 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 449
Reviews: 250
rAvg: 3.55
pDev: 17.18%
Wants: 62
Gots: 31 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
JOS. Schlitz Brewing Co. (Pabst) visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
American Adjunct Lager |  4.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Pauly2X on 08-13-2008

Brewed under contract for Pabst by Miller Brewing Co.

"Classic 1960's Formula" Schlitz Gusto reintroduced in 2008. 12 oz. bottles, 16 oz. "tallboy" cans, and draft.

Original Schlitz in 12 oz. cans and draft:
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 449 | Reviews: 250
Photo of coldmeat23
4.53/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

GLASS: Pilsener Glass
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 55 degrees, then freezer cooled for about 15 minutes
Thanks to ElJoebo, who brought me this one.

Pours up a pale yellow color, like straw or hay. It forms a two-finger plus head of loose, frothy, white foam. The retention is pretty good, leaving a solid surface covering layer of foam that's about 1/16th of an inch thick.Lacing is in spots and thin strands and is mildly sticky.

This smells like dry cornmeal, soda water and hops. There is also a mild corn sweetness here. Mild hints of grains. More than mild floral presence.
Smells better than the bulk of it's contemporaries.

This has a very mild malt presence. Not roasted or anything, just malty. A good level of graininess. Nice grassy notes. A nice balance between corn sweetness and hop spiciness. Despite the malt and sweetness presence, this one is more to the dry side of things, overall.
It's actually fairly well balanced and I don't really mind the taste of this one so much.

It's medium-bodied and has a medium-to-almost-high level of carbonation. This is pretty dead-on for the style. Very crisp, clean, and refreshing in it's feel. Not sharp, just crisp.

Drinkability is absolute. Will I search this out and consume mass quantities of it? No. Can I understand how someone else might? Yes. This is so smooth and easy-to-drink. There is nothing here to challenge your palate, but there is just enough to keep it entertained.
I can't imagine that any other American Adjunct Lager will ever score higher than this one for me, but there is a small amount of space for one to try.
I'm glad that I tried this.

Photo of jsh420
3.83/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16oz tall boy

pours bright clear golden yellow with a 1/2 finger white fizzy head that left no lacing

smells of grainy malts not much else

taste - by far the best macro adjunt i have had -this brew has flavor! sweet grainy/corny malts with some lemon hop bitterness

mouthfeel is light crisp semi-dry just what i want in a macro lager

drinkability is great - this beer has end of the work day lawnmowing beer written all over it

Photo of Danmc200
3.73/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Light yellow with a slight green tint. pearly white head

S - Scent of corn and grassy hops

T - Sweet malty corn balanced with a touch of grassy hops. High carbonation, slightly bitter aftertaste.

M - Thin, somewhat refreshing as should be.

For some reason I experienced extremely short head retention with this beer.
Very Drinkable. Could plow through a 6 pack.
Reminds me of High Life but with more distinct hop character (I've drunk too much High Life in my past).
Very Good Basic/Cheap beer.

Photo of dhannes
3.92/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

While I enjoyed the taste, it was still a bit lighter than I recall it to be, as well as having more carbonation than most other beers on the market. Nice amber color, fine smell of hops, and a taste reminiscent of Wisconsin beers in the 60's and 70's.

Photo of alabencki
4.65/5  rDev +31%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer really surprised me. I was not expecting such a great taste and drinkability from an American Adjunct Lager. For what it is, being an adjunct lager, it is incredibly good. It has a smooth taste, a slight crispness from the carbonation, but not a lot. It doesn't have that "watered down" "weak taste" that so many American Adjunct Lagers have. All in all, it's worth the money. It is a very good beer in my opinion.

Photo of quasimoto
3.14/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I don't know what the hell it is about this beer, but I like it. I like this beer a lot. Musty grainy aromas start off the top with a little weird spice from somewhere. It doesn't smell too off putting. It's just odd. The taste of woodsy grain starts off the palette. The sweet taste of sweet grains mix in to the middle of it and it turns to a high grain cracker. It finishes as a bready dry finish. I find this beer exceedingly drinkable. It's not an overly impressive beer. Very basic, but I like it.

Photo of samie85
3.83/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Had this for Easter dinner at the girlfriend's parents place, 4/04. Reviewed from notes.

A-Pours a golden yellow with a two finger white head.

S-Smells of sweet grain, a bit of caramel and maybe the slightest hint of grassy hops.

T-Again, sweet grain and caramel malt with a drying, barely bitter finish.

M-Thin bodied and effervescent although it's very smooth feeling.

D-I've been meaning to try it for awhile and they always try and pick some beer for me, so I can't complain

Photo of zeff80
3.53/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a very bubbly, clear, golden-yellow color with a small, very bubbly, short-lived, white head. There was no lacing left behind.

S - It smelled of grains and caramel with a slight floral aroma. Much better than most other beers of this style.

T - Sweet caramel and grains lead off this beer with a touch of mild hop bitterness.

M - It was very crisp and sharp. A light bodied lager that finishes very smooth and clean.

D - This is probably the best brew of this style that I've had. It tastes like a "real" beer unlike others of this style.

Photo of backfat
3.82/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a pale yellow with a lively three finger white frothy head. smells of sweet hops!? shockingly awesome, especially for an american adjunct lager. yeast and grain like you'd expect, but no metallic. tastes of high carbonation and sweet/tart watery grain. not too bad. one of three american lagers i can drink and be happy. go get some. it's the beer that made milwaukee famous! (the good land)

Photo of puboflyons
3.37/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle marked JAN1110-BO1201900. Sampled on February 22, 2010. It pours golden yellow with a short burst of white fizzy head and busy carbonation. There is a little malty note in the aroma along with grass and weak hops. The mouthfeel is around medium with a taste that brings out a lightly sour flavor of grass and thin hops. It does have something over the current formula but it is not significant.

Photo of jwhawkins81
3.71/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled 11/16/09

Aroma - Pretty much every beer I remember growing up as a kid. I didn't think there was anything special about the aroma hence the 3.0 average rating. Pretty much the usual corn with a light aromatic hop hint.

Appearance - Golden yellow with a thin white head that dissipated pretty quickly. Still a good level of visible carbonation.

Taste - This is where Schlitz comes through. The flavor was more dry with a decent level of hop bitterness that is usually and should be expected from a macro lager. Not the usual sweet off flavor of most cheap yellow beers.

Notes - Maybe a little dry and bitter for me in the long run over a session but a smooth easy drinking beer. I would have liked a little more carbonation for mouthfeel but that's a minor complaint.

Photo of degerbah
3.65/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours fizzy yellow with about an inch of head that settles quickly. Very, very clear, I can pretty much watch tv through the glass. The aroma is much sweeter than some other macro-lagers. Noticably maltier in taste than the lagers I'm used to tasting. Not much hop presence, the taste is overall a little more grainy sweetness than any type of bitterness. A very easy drinker, like any adjunct lager should be. A noticable step up from a lot of cheap lagers, but not really heads and tails better than a yeungling. Worth buying a six pack to watch a football game with.

Photo of nickynick
3.72/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Schlitz Original 60s. I had heard about this and I figured I would give it a try. This beer was not much to look at, very pale yellow/gold, no head at all. Smell was had nice hints of hops and malt. The taste was sweet, with some hints of hops, very clean tasting. Mouthfeel was good, and of course this beer was very drinkable. Overall this is better then almost any other macro that I can think of. Its a no nonsense easy drinking lager. Would be nice on a summer day, grilling out, or just watching a game.

Photo of Ottertude
3.98/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I had tried and liked the canned Schlitz and was very curious to try the 60's formula. When in a grocery store during a visit to St. Louis I was pleased to see the "Gusto" featured and had to buy a sixer.

This beer poured a golden yellow color in my glass with a nice white head. Plenty of carbonation but not too much. It smelled of grass, some hay and some malt.

The taste was what made Milwaukee famous. Malty up front with a nice bitter hop finish. I think just a tad more than just a kiss of the hops as advertised. Very nice.

Probably the biggest improvement over the current Schlitz is the mouth feel. The gusto feels richer and fuller. Not too big. Just right. I can drink this all night and wish I bought more than just a six pack. I wish the "Gusto" was distributed in Kentucky. This brew would have a regular place in my fridge.

Photo of boatshoes
3.8/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a six of this because I was very curious about the "1960's" formula. Split the pack with a friend.

Appearance- Pretty standard for an adjunct lager. Usual straw golden like many others that I've encountered with a two finger quick dying white head. Pretty average but nothing really to knock it about.

Smell- Surprised. A touch of hay and mown grass show through. Not a lot of the usual sharp metal and adjunct that I usually encounter in these adjunct lagers. Nothing to write home about, but against its competition, not bad at all.

Taste- Hay, grass, and sweet corn dominate the flavor profile. Not an incredibly huge flavor by any means, but a touch of all three. Most importantly for me, the flavor was NOT dominated by metal, rice, and other adjunct flavors. Surprisingly okay.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Carbonation was a touch aggressive, but not overly out of line for the style. Drinkability was also pretty good for the style given the mild taste and lack of off flavors.

Overall, well worth a shot for an adjunct lager. Very reasonably priced and not overly offensive. Good for BMC drinkers looking for something with a touch of flavor.

Photo of WakeandBake
3.83/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A light golden color body with a thin foamy white head , light carbonation . Aroma of sweet malt ,cereal grain, very faint caramel and a bit of spicy hops. Flavor was a suprise,quite nice . A little hoppy with a bit of actual malt to balance it out, lightly bitter, no off flavors ,light body, crisp clean mouthfeel .Finishes slightly dry with some actual hop flavor . Very drinkable and quite sessionable . I agree with the other reviews that this is measurably better than Bud Miller Coors . Would have liked a touch more carbonation, maybe it was an off batch . Actually glad I bought 6 of these .
Nice work

Photo of pb9613
4.57/5  rDev +28.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - It was a pleasant gold color with a decent white head that lingered longer than most mass market American beers

Smell - A clean pleasant smell with a "Kiss of the Hops"

Taste - This is the taste I remember when I stole a sip from my dad's beer bottle as a youngster. This is what started me on the road to be a beer lover.

Mouthfeel - There is just enough carbonation to let the malt flavors and hops hit all the right taste buds.

Drinkability - This is not your standard mass market American beer that can be sloshed down like a student at MTU.

This beer is all about nostalgia. It is the taste I remember as a kid and love it today.

Photo of DanJ
3.95/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I think most reviewers have stated it all. What I would like to contribute is this. This beer is what American Lagers use to taste like. This is a clean tasting refreshing lager. A good session beer, especially on hot lazy summer days. The thing I like the most is this is the beer I can keep on hand for guests that like beer, but maybe not an Ale, IPA or Stout. When they leave I still have something on hand that I can enjoy. The other Macro-Brews feed my garden.

Photo of OlRasputin989
2.87/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz enjoyed from the Samuel Adams Boston Lager glass

A: a yellow-gold brew with a fluffly white head. A thin layer hangs around (could just be the glass, though).

S: dusty corn feed, hay, and earthy hops. reminds me of an old barn.

T: again, dusty corn, rice, and a "KISS!" of earthy hops. finishes with dusty, cornmeal and rice.

M: has a light-medium body with a lively entry. Almost feels grainy. has a dry finish.

Overall, This was an enjoyable beer for the mostpart, though the review could lead you to think otherwise. It does have more of a "bite" to it compared to other beers of this style (miller high life, coors) but doesn't stray too far. Don't know if that is for better or worse.

Photo of sbe1
3.65/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I can't believe how good this beer is for what it is (an American macro-lager). It's truly a shame the macros stopped making beer like this.

Appearance: Dark (for the style) very clear gold with a sudsy white head that last a little while and settles to thin foamy ring around the glass.

Smell: Clean grain, sweetish malt and corn, musky hops, but none of the skunk or chemicals that one usually finds in a macro beer.

Taste: Clean, slightly malty, a hint of hoppiness, dryish finish.

Mouthfeel: light, refreshing, mild complementary carbonation, even a touch of creaminess.

Drinkability: the definition of drinkable, a tasty refreshing session beer.

Photo of malty
3.43/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle stamped 'AUG3109' - so I guess I'm a day late.

Pours from the traditional brown longneck a pale gold with tremendous clarity. There's a bit of visible carbonation uprising to the 1/4" bright white head.

A few swirls on my nonic Bass Ale pint glass evoke a sweetish malt scent with a bit of a popcorn aroma. There's a snappy clean smell that's kinda appealing also.

The flavor is actually pretty nice. Clean pale malts with a surprisingly noticable hop flavor to even this (albeit light) flavor out. A light white pepper flavor hits the back of the mouth as a nice dryness comes from the hops.

Mouthfeel is light, but with a neat slik/oiliness to it. The carbonation is good at keeping the flavors going.

Drinkability is very good. I'd drink a couple more of these - especially on a hot day.

Overall I was pleasantly surprised by this beer. I prefer it to nay of the BMC brews out there. It's got a bit of merit all on it's own due to it's great mouthfeel and fresh/clean flavors. No 'off' flavors on the macro. Pretty good stuff.

Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.33/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12oz brown screw-top with freshness date clearly marked and old-school looking label

Appearance: Surprisingly dark gold (for the style) beer with great clarity, steady, almost fizzy carbonation and a stark white head that soon fades to a thick soapy film

Smell: Sweet (though not the crazy cloying/sickly heavy sweetness of many examples of the style) adjunct beer (mostly corn-like aromas) with hints of unidentifiable sweetness. This really isn't all that good; honestly I was expecting a bit more, given the hype of this beer.

Taste: Very generic sweet adjuncty graininess with just a hint of malt and a whisper of hop flavor on the finish. There's actually a nice sharp twang of bitterness from the hops on the finish, which puts this slightly above other beers in this category.

Mouthfeel: Light

Drinkability: High

Conclusion: The bottom line is that if I'm at a BMC-only establishment, I'll order this over the other macros every time. That being said, now that it's around $5.99 a sixer around here (and I can get Summit on sale for a dollar more) it's hard to make a case for buying this on any kind of a regular basis (though I do miss the 75 cent Schlitz happy hours).

Photo of jeremyd365
1.99/5  rDev -43.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a light golden with a slight white head. Smells like a macro--overpowering sour with a little maltiness. The mouthfeel is thin but average for a macro. The flavor is... ah yes, like college. Reminds me of PBR. It's sour, but at least it's cold. I wasn't going to say it was horrible, but.. it's horrible. I got it for the novelty, and that's about all it's good for. Maybe I'll buy a sixer for my dad or grandpa--they'd probably get a kick out of it.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.23/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

"Go for the Gusto. Your Schlitz is back."

--Jos. Schlitz Brewing Company

Sun-splashed goldenrod with scads of sparkly carbonation leading up to an attractive cap of eggshell colored frothiness. I wonder if the head looks vastly superior to the heads on most American pale lagers because there are fewer (or no) adjuncts. A short sudsy collar of lace appears as the foam begins to recede.

The nose harbors no surprises, other than a lack of nastiness. The beer smells like cereal grains and musky hops, which is pretty much par for the style course. The brewery claims that this version has 'a more full-bodied taste' and 'more hop flavor'. Let's see if it actually does.

I'll be damned. Schlitz Gusto is the best beer of this style that I've ever had the pleasure to drink. And it isn't even close. Most of the present day recipes taste like diluted pond water compared to this stuff. It tastes and feels like there's at least 50% more barley in here. I'm sure the cost of ingredients is most of the reason why the brewery dumbed down Schlitz in the 1970s.

Gusto is both sweeter (maltier) and slightly more bitter (hoppier) than any pale lager you'd care to name. If it had been a part of a MacroSmackdown, it would have blown the doors off the competition after the first mouthful. Untoasted grain is perfectly complemented by musky, almost grassy, hops. Simple never tasted so good.

I once gave a craft beer to a friend who described the mouthfeel as 'way too thick'. She would have thought the same about this mouthfeel. As a member of the 'bigger is almost always better' school, I think it's tremendous. If fact, this might be the best mouthfeel on any sub-5.0% lager ever. No joke.

I have always wondered what the iconic American brands tasted and drank like back in the day. If Schlitz was as good then as Schlitz Gusto is now, then it's even more disappointing how far the asshats at A-B, Miller and Coors have taken us down the road of, not even mediocrity, but godforsaken swillery. *This* is what an American pale lager should taste like.

Photo of joe1510
3.97/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Longneck
$6.99 6-pack
Route 6 Liquors

Best Before 9/14/09

"The beer that made Milwaukee famous" is back with the old 60's formula. A straw golden liquid fills this here imperial pint glass with a surprisingly frothy two fingers of billowy white head. The body is perfectly clear, allowing me to see each and every bubble pop to the surface. The head dies fairly quickly to a skimming but leaves some solid lace along the glass. Not too shabby.

I'm shocked to say it but the nose immediately gives off a nice dusty, grassy hoppiness that compliments the clean, semi-sweet graininess nicely. A quick swirl brings back the head and freshly husked barley sweetness. Although the grassy hoppiness is fairly mild I'm surprised it's there at all. It does manage to lay down balance with the mild sweetness. I think I'm going to like this one...

I cracked this bottle open as I was getting the "Q" fired up. The first few drinks make me wonder 'is there a better beer out there for just such an occasion?". I'm thinking but can't come up with much and zero of the macro lager variety. The mild sweetness hits up front with ultra clean barley before the slight grassiness hits on the swallow. There's a great balance and none of that sickly muddled graininess I run into with the other lagers of this type. This is some good drinking, all things considered.

The texture is on the lower side of moderate with some decent carbonation to push things through. The carbonation makes for a somewhat creamy feel on the swallow. A touch of sweetness gets left behind but is quickly eaten away by a surprising dryness that I instantly enjoy.

Dry, thirst quenching beer in the summer months? Sign me up! The dryness keeps me coming back for more, quicker than I should. I haven't set the glass down yet. It's nearly time for another after about 5 minutes on this one.

I feel as though I've been gushing all over this beer. Maybe I have, it is a damn fine beer. When I take the style in mind I haven't come across a better example yet. With that said, styles be damned! I just want my backyard beers clean, crisp and refreshing. Schlitz Gusto fits the bill. This will be in the icebox often for just such an occasion all summer long, what's left.

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Schlitz Gusto (Classic 1960's Formula) from JOS. Schlitz Brewing Co. (Pabst)
81 out of 100 based on 449 ratings.